Preparing Your Home for Tornado Season

Montage of storm shelter images

Preparing Your Home for Tornado Season

March 10, 2021

For the past 20 years, Homes by Taber has been committed to creating Proudly Overbuilt homes and neighborhoods for the people of Oklahoma. Part of that commitment includes building homes that will keep residents as safe as possible—especially during tornado season.   

Tornadoes can happen just about any month of the year in Oklahoma, but they most commonly occur in March, April and May. While tornadoes are not always an easy natural disaster to predict, there are plenty of ways you can prepare your home and your family to stay safe during one. 

Invest in a storm shelter

Although Oklahoma consistently ranks near the top of the list of most tornado-affected states, storm shelters are not a building requirement. Homes by Taber believes that storm shelters should be required by the building code for all home builders to install, but until then, they have committed to installing them in every home. Whether your home is new-construction or a bit older, investing in a storm shelter should be your number one priority. 

Homes by Taber doesn’t believe in putting a price on your family’s safety—that’s why we include a Storm Safe storm shelter in every single home we build at no additional cost. This commitment has made us, proudly, the largest purchaser or storm shelters in the country and made our homeowners safer. Although this requires a large investment on our end, we believe that safety should never be overlooked or, even worse, considered an upgrade from your builder. 

Storm Safe’s all-steel, garage-floor storm shelters are solidly constructed, featuring quarter-inch steel plate doors designed to slide easily in place, a rust-resistant coating, commercial-grade weatherproofing, built-in steps and seating, built-in ventilation and an internal release on the door. Much like Homes by Taber, Storm Safe is dedicated to continuously improving its processes in order to provide the best possible products to the people of Oklahoma. 

Storm Safe shelters also come with a lifetime warranty, meaning it will transfer to any future homeowners. Just one more way Homes by Taber adds value to your new home. 

Assemble an emergency kit

Having the right materials with you during and after a tornado is crucial, and preparing beforehand will leave your family equipped with what they need in the event of an emergency. Many tornado emergency kits are available for purchase online, but you can also build your own kit to stock with supplies and store in your shetler. Essential items to include in a large, water resistant bin or toolbox are:  

  • Three-day supply of water (one gallon per person, per day) 
  • All current prescription medications
  • First-aid kit, including antiseptic cleansers 
  • Shelf-stable food (canned goods, peanut butter, jerky, granola bars, trail mix, etc.)
  • Formula and non-perishable baby food, for those with infants 
  • Can opener for non-perishable food 
  • Battery-powered weather radio
  • Flashlight 
  • Extra batteries 
  • One change of clothing and close-toed footwear per person 
  • One sleeping bag and blanket per person 
  • Written instructions to turn off electricity, gas and water if advised by authorities 
  • Phone charger or portable power bank 
  • Any supplies needed for pets including food, additional water and medications
  • Your family’s favorite board game (those tornado warnings can sometimes last a while) 

Important family documents should be kept in an accessible location, so they can be easily transported to the storm shelter when needed. If homeowners are comfortable leaving a spare set of car keys and cash or an emergency credit card in their storm shelter, that is also encouraged. 

Secure your furniture

Heavy furniture and large items inside and outside your home can pose a serious threat when combined with the high wind speeds produced by a tornado. To minimize the risk of injury or damage to your home and furniture, experts suggest attaching large pieces of furniture, such as dressers, bookcases and media stands, securely to the wall they’re on. For even more stability, consider placing and attaching large pieces on load-bearing walls. Outside of your home, outdoor furniture can be secured with specialized anchors or affordable sandbags made specifically for this purpose. 

Find ways to stay informed

If your family ends up spending time in your storm shelter before or after the storm, it’s important to have a way to receive timely updates and information. Cell phones can receive messages from the Emergency Alert System, and area-specific apps can provide warnings and information as well. However, in the event that cell towers have been damaged from high winds and debris, a battery-operated weather radio is the best way to stay connected. 

Have a plan in place

Creating a tornado action plan can help ease your mind by ensuring all household members are educated and prepared. These plans can be customized for every family, and should be communicated however you see fit. Whether it’s a written checklist or verbal instructions, consider reviewing it with your family each year before tornado season. The plan can include designated responsibilities (who retrieves family documents, who gathers the family pets, who shuts off utilities, etc.), important phone numbers and whatever else you’d like to include. 

If you have children who are old enough to be home alone, ensure they know how to open and close the storm shelter. Living in one of our Taberhoods means you’re always surrounded by friendly faces, and creating a plan of action with a trusted neighbor is also a good option when kids are home alone. 

Buy from a trusted Oklahoma home builder 

After two decades of creating new communities, earning numerous awards and building the best homes, we’ve earned our reputation as Oklahoma’s Favorite Builder. With that title, we take the livelihood of our residents and the surrounding areas very seriously—especially their safety. That’s why we use state-of-the-art building techniques and a team of highly-skilled professionals to create sturdy new-construction homes, built with the highest quality materials. We don’t settle for less than the best, because we don’t think homeowners should have to settle, either. 

Whether you’ve lived in Oklahoma your entire life or are a recent transplant, tornado season can be a little scary. Knowing that your family is prepared and living in a home that comes equipped with an underground, solid-steel storm shelter designed to exceed FEMA guidelines can provide the priceless peace of mind homeowners deserve. 

Aside from a storm shelter, our homes also come equipped with a pre-wired TaberTech smart home security system, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, high-tech Healthy Home Technology air filtration system and extra gas shutoff valves that are easily accessible so you can feel comfortable and secure in your home any day of the year. 

To learn more about how we put safety first and continue to set the standard for builders in Oklahoma, contact us online or call the office at (405) 984-1185.  


Our Happy Homeowners

Homes by Taber has not only built a great home, their Warranty Department has done an outstanding job with being Informative, helpful, and being nice!! I’m so glad my family and I choose a Homes by Taber!!

Krysta Rains

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